Privacy and visibility settings in groups

Group types

A group can be marked Private or Public.

Private groups are intended to only be used by members of an organization. Their discussion lists and member lists are only visible by members of the group.

Public groups are intended to be available to the general public to participate in discussions. The groups' discussion lists are visible to anyone on the Internet without needing to log in. The groups' member lists are only visible to administrators of the group.

Visibility and Joining: Private Groups

The content of a group's discussions and member list is visible only to the group members.

Private groups are good for things like:

  • Discussions within teams in your organization
  • Strategic management discussions for conference organizers

Visibility — Control who can see the group exists

  • Only users who are already in the group
  • Only members of the special "team" group in the organization
  • Anyone (no login required) can see the group 

Anyone trying to join a private group must go through moderator approval. 

Some groups are open to the team: members of the special team group can see and join open groups without needing to be approved. Note: the team group generally isn't named "team". Any previously existing group can be designated as the team group. 

Visibility and Joining: Public Groups

The content of a group's discussions is visible to anyone on the internet, no login required. 

Public groups can be good for things like:

  • A public announcements group where only group administrators can post announcements and no replies are allowed.
  • Inviting engagement from the wider community.
  • Open source organizations.
  • Letting conference attendees stay in touch with each other.

Joining — Control who can join a public group

  • By default all requests to join a public group are moderated: a group admin or moderator has to approve their join request.
  • You can also allow a group to be open: anyone can join without needing approval.
    • As Topicbox billing depends on how many users you have in your organization, we recommend setting a user limit so you can control your cost.
    • If you find a lot of spammers are joining your group, you may wish to revert to a moderated user model.

Sending messages: Private and Public Groups

Sending — Control what happens when certain types of people send to your group

  • Who is permitted to send to the group?
    • Admins
    • Members
    • Members + team
    • Anyone 
  • What happens to permitted messages?
    • You can choose whether all permitted messages must be reviewed by a moderator before being passed through.
  • What happens when messages arrive from someone who doesn't have permission to send to the group?
    • Hold it for review: this places the message in moderation
    • Discard the message: view discarded messages in the For Review page. They can be optionally "rescued" and sent through to the group.

It is possible to override sending permissions for a particular user, if you want to remove or tighten limitations on what they can do.

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